How To Build a DIY NFT (Nutrient Film Technique) Hydroponic System

I didn’t invent this, but I did enjoy putting together a home-built NFT system from items I picked up at the hardware store. Basic costs of about $400.00 and about 10 hours of effort around will yield a 30 square foot, mobile growing unit with spaces for 80-90 plants. I’m looking forward to seeing how the plants will do in a horizontal system, since my only reference is to my vertical Zipgrow systems, which can prove troublesome in some plants. I expect a maturation time of 6-8 weeks for greens and herbs, and I can’t wait to see how a couple rows of strawberries will do in this situation. No slugs!

Measure 3 inch holes at 6″ to 8″ centers. Using 3 and 4 inch sewer tubes
Cutting a ‘yoke’ for the NFT Rails. There’s probably a better way.
Mounted on sawhorses. DIY Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) hydroponics system
Net baskets and clay pellets keep the seedlings in place
Backyard DIY hydroponic system ready for planting
Drains into a piece of eavestrough and then into the reservoir for recirculation

Costs 4 @ 10 foot @ 3 inch PVC sewer pipe – $60.

1 Gallon per hour pond pump – $65.

20 Gallon Garbage can – $20

80 @ 3 inch hydroponic baskets $60.

25 feet 1/2 inch PVC water line $10.

1/2 inch elbows and tees and hose clamps $20.

4 @ 3 inch pvc end caps $12.

Half bag hydroponic clay pebble medium $25.

2 @ metal sawhorse stands $40.

Basic directions – Use a 3 inch hole saw to cut holes in PVC sewer pipe at 5 or 6 inch intervals. Smooth edges with sandpaper or wire brush, wash and filter out pvc filings. I used a piece of 1 by 6 fir and used the hole saw to cut 4 holes, then ripped the board in half to create a wooden yoke for the pvc to rest in. I used 1/2 inch tees and elbows to build the water output, plus I’m using a short piece of eavestrough to catch the outfall into the main reservoir. I will be filling it with fish when it gets a little warmer. This is what it looks like right now, March 11, 2020 in the Pacific Northwest. We haven’t reached consistent 10 degree Celsius days yet, and our nights are going down to 0 Celsius. Some of what you see planted is overgrown and harvested stumps from my indoor operation, some of it is fresh seedling that I’ve recently planted.

Video overview of the NFT system. We need to build and install these everywhere.

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